12 / 12
Going for Gold is a new programme of artist development & community engagement; the most ambitious in Birmingham Opera Company’s history. There is no distinction between core work & education work. Going for Gold is a fundamental part of & drives towards a major new production of a quintessentially European title, to be performed in 2021.
In 2020-21, we will engage over 8,000 local people in 100 free targeted events, such as pop-up performances & workshops with numerous non-arts partners. 99% of those people will be new to opera. In 2018-19, 88% of our year-round activity took place in neighbourhoods that are among the 10% most deprived in England. With no fixed venue, our work happens not in a specific building but in people’s hearts.
Inviting volunteers to perform the work with us shows us what the work can be. 200 local people will perform in the production. They will reflect Birmingham today, in terms of age, social & ethnic background. Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe; we will ensure 16 to 25-year-olds engage and thrive. Failed by a diminished music education system and with hardly any provision in the city, they will have an experience that will live in them for life at this critical transition into adulthood.
The diversity of the people in our city inspires us in everything we do. Our cast, crew and audiences will include people who are currently underrepresented on stage, backstage and in audiences across Europe.
We will provide development opportunities for 50 emerging artists, including an International Directors’ School, paid placements in the creative team & mentoring roles. Volunteers & emerging artists will work alongside an international team of artists, led by Graham Vick. The production will take place in a non-theatre space in an English translation.
By sharing our model, we will weave opera more widely into the fabric of policy & practice, funding & philanthropic giving, with the aim of securing opera’s place in modern society.
Going for Gold comprises a programme of work in which quality, participation & diversity ultimately combine to create a landmark production for the 21st century.
Graham Vick CBE